Our neurosurgeons are nationally recognized for epilepsy patient care and research and are part of a multidisciplinary team that works together to develop the optimal plan to control or minimize seizures.
The Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is a certified Center of Excellence and is the largest epilepsy surgery center in the region. More than 3,000 patients are seen annually. The center is classified as a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, with the highest level of patient care standards for the treatment of epilepsy. For pediatric patients, Washington University/St. Louis Children's Hospital is home to one of the largest and most advanced pediatric epilepsy surgery centers in the nation.
The Department of Neurosurgery offers care for both adults and children with medically intractable seizures and provides a full range of surgical options for intractable epilepsy, including
- Implantable seizure-control devices
- resection of seizure foci
- vagal nerve stimulation
Advanced technology is used for determining the source of seizures, including MRI and PET imaging. New operations and advances in computer software allow planning of neurosurgical procedures with minimal disruption of normal brain function. The Department has a strong tradition of using functional localization. Expanding on this tradition is the use of function imaging combined with intraoperative mapping to safely remove lesions in or near critical brain areas essential for language and motor skills.
Advanced diagnostic technologies are available:
- The largest continuous-video EEG Epilepsy Monitoring Unit in the region
- Video EEG
- Signal analysis
- Intracranial electrode mapping
- Intraoperative monitoring
- ictalSPECT imaging
- High field-strength MRI scans
- PET scans
- SPECT scans
- Cognitive/neuropsychological testing
The Comprehensive Epilepsy Center offers a range of treatments to help control seizures, from the simple to the more advanced. Medications help control some seizures, but up to 30 percent of all seizure patients do not benefit significantly from medications. In those cases, a surgical approach may be warranted. Other options include
- Minimally invasive treatment options
- Clinical trials for new anti-epileptic medications
Providers from both neurosurgery and neurology hold weekly Epilepsy Surgery Conferences to review all treatment options for each epilepsy patient.
Make an Appointment
Adult epilepsy patients considering surgery should be referred to the Epilepsy Program in the Department of Neurology to initiate a pre-surgical evaluation. Please call (314) 362-7845 to schedule an appointment.
Pediatric Patients or Referring Physicians
Contact us directly at (314) 454-4089